Final report finds Eastern Michigan violated Clery Act
While police investigated student's death as a homicide, school said no foul play suspected
MICHIGAN -- The U.S. Department of Education issued its final report Tuesday to Eastern Michigan University, detailing the school's violations of the federal Clery Act in failing to properly notify the campus about an investigation into the homicide of a student who was killed in campus housing.
In December 2006, Laura Dickinson's body was found in her dormitory room. Though circumstances surrounding the case prompted law enforcement to investigate the death as a homicide, university officials told her parents and the campus community that no foul play was suspected.
The Clery Act requires colleges that receive federal funds to collect and release information about campus crime and to issue warnings about threats to campus safety. Yesterday's report listed seven findings of violations of that law, including failure to issue a "timely warning" to the campus community that a possible crime had occurred, absence of a "timely warning" policy, misreporting crime statistics in its annual report and failure to provide adequate policy statements on safety.
"The findings in this program review report indicate numerous and systemic violations by EMU of the Clery Act requirements," the report said. "EMU ... failed to take action to ensure the safety and well being of the campus community."
The public learned about the possibility that Dickinson was murdered only when a suspect in the killing was arrested two months later. EMU then fired University President John A. Fallon; Public Safety Director Cindy Hall and Vice President of Student Affairs Jim Vick were forced to resign.
The Department of Education's Administrative Actions and Appeals Division will determine whether to fine Eastern Michigan.
S. Daniel Carter, the Vice President of Security on Campus, said the school could be fined up to $27,500 for each violation.
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